Mar 31, 2008

Stinkin' Crooks

When I landed my gig at the hardware store, it was inconceivable to me that people stole from the store. After all, it is our friendly neighborhood hardware. I don't know why I supposed this, but I have been proven to be oh, so wrong.

The patrons of our store are mostly workman, senior citizens and homeowners from the neighborhood. Most, probably 75% of our customers are regulars. There is the occasional meth addict, also known as one of the usual suspects, but we tend to know them on sight. Only the addicts get any real scrutiny, which turns out to be a a boon to some.

The reality of things is that a certain amount of pilferage is inevitable, because a certain segment of the criminal element comes disguised as senior citizens, homeowners and workmen. Relatively few thieves have the decency to show up looking like criminals. Add to that, the thin staffing of our store, and you have an invitation to larceny.

Some people, including a surprising number of senior citizens, believe that if they need a screw or two, it is permissible to help themselves to some. I've seen more than one oldster stuff a handful of nuts and bolts into his pocket and scurry out of the store. I guess it is the same phenomenon as grazing in the produce section of the grocery.

Far and away the most common method of theft is to remove an item from its packaging and concealing it in a pocket, bag or purse. The card shown in the picture is for a four dollar drill bit. Someone removed the bit and hid the card behind some merchandise. I found it while stocking. I find this stuff all the time.

This is a picture of a pipe threading die, used to put threads on cut pipe. Our store has a pipe threading machine and a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that two of our four dies were not with the machine.

Since the machine had been out for repair, we assumed that they had been lost in transit or were simply hidden among stuff in the warehouse. Yesterday the remaining two dies vanished. These are big pieces of equipment that couldn't be carried out the front door unnoticed, so we assume that some ne'er-do-well shoved them out the back door while the staff was busy. They likely tossed them over our fence and then went around to the alley to retrieve them.

A person would have to have a pipe threader like ours to use them, so it seems probable that some junkie did it in hopes of selling them.

Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky


Coffee Messiah said...

1st, Happy Birthday with many more to come.

Surprising? Not in todays world, sadly!

phd girl said...

It's bad luck to think about bad things on your birthday! Quick! think about puppies and candy!

Kurt said...

I love puppies and candy! Puppies have great breath, but they bite too hard. And candy tastes good.

dennis said...

Dennis wonders why there's a little camera by Merle's orange thing?

Steve said...

People steal the weirdest things. Do you suppose those pipe threaders have any value as scrap metal? I've heard scrap metal thievery is all the rage.